In the first edition of 'The Full 80' soccer notebook for 2016, Eastlake is on the rise under second-year coach Marc Wilson. As always, there’s national rankings and state rankings by classification.
The Eastlake High School girls soccer team have made big strides of late, but the Wolves still seem to be the forgotten KingCo 4A Conference program on the Sammamish Plateau.
With all the league and state success of neighboring Issaquah and Skyline, Eastlake must feel starved for praise and accolades.
The Wolves are off to a 4-1-1 start overall and 4-1-0 with 12 points — third-place in KingCo 4A — and nipping at the heels of perennial conference leaders Issaquah and Skyline, who are both 4-0-1 to open the 2016 schedule.
Could this be the year of rising to the top for Eastlake? The Wolves, under second-year coach Marc Wilson, will find out this week how good they are or how far they have to go to reach the top of KingCo 4A.
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The Wolves host Issaquah (5-0-1 overall, 4-0-1 league, 13 points) on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. and travel to Skyline (4-0-2, 4-0-1, 13 points) on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
“There is an aura about both of those schools and programs [in girls soccer] based on their history of success,” said Wilson, who guided the Wolves to a 10-3-4 mark in his first season and within one win of a winner-to-state playoff match. “I think we’re ready to jump through the window and be recognized as one of the top programs KingCo [4A] and I truly believe that.
“I will communicate that to my team before kickoff [Tuesday] night during pre-game. We were close last year. We lost to both Issaquah and Skyline 1-0 at home and played them very well last year and were close. You just can’t have a down half against teams like them. It’s got to be a full 80 [minutes].”
Skyline has won or shared six of the last eight KingCo 4A regular-season titles and Issaquah won it in 2014. They shared the regular-season crown last season.
Wilson hopes this season will be the Wolves’ turn to realize the fruits of a renewed commitment and re-shaped program, which went 2-5-1 in KingCo 4A and 6-5-2 in 2014.
“For us, it’s just been a complete buy-in [from the girls] of how we want to run a program and how we want to treat each other,” Wilson said. “It’s the culture that we’ve created. It has resonated throughout the school and the community. We’ve gotten pretty good fan support.
“We’ve just made an attempt to not to play second fiddle to the football program. I don’t have anything against the football program. We just want the girls to feel equally important. It’s nice to see the pride their carry in the community.
Eastlake hopes launch to the top of the standings after taking fourth place at 4-2-2 in 2015. One of the big reasons the culture is on a positive trajectory is Wilson’s ability to get Eastlake kids to turn out instead of only focus on club soccer.
“When I was hired, I immediately reached out to mothers and daughters of those [club soccer] players who hadn’t come out in the past,” Wilson said. “I just wanted to explain my overall view on high school soccer. The better girls sometimes get pressured by their club coaches to not come out and play [for the high school] team.”
Seniors Brooke Chandler, Tatum Thornton and Maddie Robinson all joined the school program for the first time as juniors. All three play for Crossfire Premier.
“Those girls have come out and they do see that it’s a competitive environment [in high school],” Wilson said.
That trio of players had an immediate impact and that has carried over into this season. Chandler, an outside midfielder, leads KingCo 4A with eight assists to go with four goals this season.
Sophomore attacking midfielder Kinsey Kolar has been a factor offensively, scoring five goals.
Also playing key roles for the Wolves this season are sophomore midfielder Lauren Jensen and sophomore goalkeeper Olivia Harris, who has three shutouts.
Around the Area
Two teams from Washington state — Seattle Prep at No. 24 and Issaquah at No. 25 — remained in the Top 25 of the national rankings from National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).
Four teams from Washington state — Issaquah (No. 13), Seattle Prep (No. 31), Skyline (No. 33) and Kentridge (No. 34) — are in the Fall FAB 50 High School Girls Soccer Rankings from Sept. 20 put out by topdrawersoccer.com.
State rankings by classification (4A, 3A, 2A) – Week 1 (first set of rankings)
Here are The Seattle Times 2016 rankings for Class 4A, 3A and 2A for Week 1 (Sept. 26, 2016):
1, Issaquah (5-0-1)
2, Kentridge (3-0-2)
3, Skyline (4-0-2)
4, Mead (Spokane) (8-0-1)
5, Camas (6-0-1)
6, Jefferson (4-0-0)
7, Kentwood (4-0-1)
8, Tahoma (5-1-0)
9, Kamiak (4-0-2)
10, Beamer (4-1-1)
On the bubble: Heritage (Vancouver) (5-0-2), Lake Stevens (5-1-0), Eastlake (4-1-1), Kennedy Catholic (2-1-3), Mount Vernon (4-1-1), Auburn Riverside (4-1-1), West Valley (Yakima) (5-2-0), Wenatchee (5-2-0), Davis (Yakima) (6-2-0), Gonzaga Prep (Spokane) (5-3-0), Central Valley (Spokane) (4-2-0), Richland (5-2-0).
1, Seattle Prep (7-0-0)
2, Gig Harbor (6-0-0)
3, Southridge (Kennewick) (7-1-0)
4, Marysville-Getchell (6-0-0)
5, Kamiakin (Kennewick) (6-2-0)
6, Lakeside (6-1-1)
7, Arlington (6-2-0)
8, Bishop Blanchet (4-1-2)
9, Bellevue (4-0-2)
10, Stadium (5-0-0)
On the bubble: Stanwood (4-2-1), Edmonds-Woodway (4-1-3), Roosevelt (5-2-0), Garfield (3-0-1), Holy Names (4-4-0), Ferndale (6-1-0), Squalicum (5-1-1), Lake Washington (4-1-1), Mercer Island (2-2-2), Wilson (Tacoma) (4-1-2), Bethel (3-0-2), Central Kitsap (3-2-1), Yelm (4-2-0), Kelso (4-0-3).
1, Fife (6-0-0)
2, Ridgefield (7-1-1)
3, Selah (6-0-1)
4, Prosser (5-1-1)
5, Burlington (5-0-2)
6, Tumwater (6-1-0)
7, Sehome (6-1-0)
8, East Valley (Spokane) (5-2-0)
9, Black Hills (5-1-0)
10, Olympic (6-1-0)
On the bubble: Cheney (7-1-0), Cedarcrest (4-2-2), White River (4-1-2), Hockinson (5-2-0), R.A. Long (4-2-0).